Yahoo recently opened their Fantasy Racing game for 2016 which allows us a first look at how they’ve grouped NASCAR’s Sprint Cup drivers for the upcoming season, including the following drivers making up the A List:
- Brad Keselowski
- Denny Hamlin
- Joey Logano
- Kyle Busch
- Jimmie Johnson
- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
- Kurt Busch
- Kevin Harvick
- Matt Kenseth
At first glance, I noticed Yahoo going with nine A Listers. Personally, I prefer a 10-driver grouping as it makes both the B and C Lists thinner. In my opinion, the thinner the groupings the more skill needed to navigate the entire 36-race schedule with only nine starts per driver.
I understand the counterpoint that including 10 drivers in the A List makes some of them (we’re looking at you Ryan Newman) unusable. However, I enjoy Yahoo Fantasy Racing because of the strategic decisions it forces on players, not how “usable” each driver is.
Plus, with a drastic change to the rules package, who’s to say which drivers will be usable and which drivers won’t? Obviously the top teams with deep pockets will have an advantage, but can we clearly say that Carl Edwards (a 2016 B List driver) will be less valuable than Kurt Busch (a 2016 A Lister)? I sure can’t and would therefore like to see Edwards as the 10th A List driver.
All of my whining aside (for now), I do have to give Yahoo credit for nailing the Top 9 drivers for the grouping as I have no qualms with those they included.
A List Strategy
My general strategy throughout the years has been to run the best driver each week and not worry about saving starts due to the sheer number of top performers available. I’ve altered this the past two seasons and rationed starts with Kevin Harvick to ensure I had something left for his better Chase races, especially Phoenix.
The new rules package throws a wrench into trying to project starts since we have no idea which teams will have speed at the outset. As usual, my plan is to not worry about saving starts and run drivers who are “hot” And when I say hot, I mean the drivers/teams who prove to have an early handle on 2016 rules.
Inevitably, top teams behind the 8-ball early in the season will catch up at some point and give us new drivers to burn. Bottom line, no saving in 2016, especially at the get-go.